Warning: Some viewers might find the content of this video disturbing.
It has been two years since the tragic campus shooting at Seattle Pacific University, Washington, where a man named Aaron Ybarra opened fire and killed one student while injuring two others. The then 27-year-old shooter had stormed into the college's Otto Miller Hall with a double-barreled firearm when a student tackled and subdued him, saving multiple innocent lives.
The incident occurred on June 5, 2014, but the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office just recently released the graphic surveillance footage after a lengthy legal battle between the university, the victims and the media.
The video shows Ybarra shoot a female student with his shotgun. When he pauses to reload the weapon, student-building monitor Jon Meis suddenly rounds the corner and pepper sprays him in the face, prompting the assailant to let go of the firearm.
Meis, then 22, quickly picked up the gun and stashed it out of sight before coming back and restraining Ybarra in a headlock.
The police arrived shortly after.
Ybarra, who reportedly has a history of mental illness, will go on trial in September. He has been charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder for the death of Paul Lee, 19, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder against injured students Thomas Fowler Jr. and Sarah Williams. He is also facing one count of second-degree assault.
The authorities call Meis’ actions a good example of how a civilian can prevent bloodshed.
Meanwhile, even though victims' faces are blurred in the video, Seattle Pacific University President Dan Martin is disappointed with its release and has asked the faculty and students to not watch it.
“We, along with others, have pursued legal action to stop the video's release in order to protect individual privacy and prevent the emotional distress these images will have on our community,” the university said in a statement. “Seattle Pacific University remains strong and resilient as a result of God’s faithfulness to us. Our foremost concern continues to be the welfare and safety of not only our students, faculty, and staff, but of the victims and witnesses of the tragedy.”
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters